The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 6, 2014

Video of proposal at Webb City High lands couple in ‘Today Show’ contest

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Stephany Pace said her boyfriend has always been the type to come up with thoughtful surprises.

But as he got on one knee during an assembly at Webb City High School, Pace was at a loss for words.

A teacher at the school, Pace has always been involved in school assemblies, whether it be leading class cheers or doing goofy dances.

On Feb. 13, though, the assembly was far from routine — and the moment was captured on video.

Pace, who was dubbed the “most spirited faculty member,” went to the middle of the gym and led class cheers. But she was called back once again and unknowingly was given instructions that would lead to her own marriage proposal.

She instructed students to raise four signs, and Pace said she was floored by what they said: “Will you marry me?”

She turned around and saw Jason Kelley walking toward her before getting down on one knee.

“It was absolutely surreal,” Pace said. “I was in shock. And in fact, the next day Jason showed me the video, and I had to ask him what I said and what he said, because I had no idea what was said out on the court.”

To add to her surprise, a video of the proposal has earned the couple a chance to win an all-expense-paid honeymoon to the British Virgin Islands.

The video was chosen out of more than 800 entries to be among the top three contestants in Kathie Lee and Hoda’s “Pop the Question” contest on the “Today Show.”

“It’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time,” she said, adding the couple has received messages from strangers who said they were glad they got to witness the proposal.

“That’s just neat,” Pace said.

Pace and Kelley, a firefighter in Overland Park, Kan., met at a business function two years ago and have been together since, she said. The two had discussed marriage, but with him living in Overland Park and her living in Webb City, they wanted to figure out how to close the gap between them first.

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